Elections 2024: Authorities pledge to safeguard voters’ rights

As South Africa prepares for the upcoming elections, law enforcement agencies have assured the public that they are “in charge and in control.” Police Deputy National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili, emphasized this during a media briefing on the readiness of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) for the National and Provincial Elections on May 29, 2024.

Special votes, administered by the Electoral Commission (IEC), started yesterday and will end today (Monday and Tuesday) followed by the general elections on Wednesday.

“To all voters, go out with full confidence knowing that the NatJOINTS plan is on track to protect your rights and our democracy. We are in charge, we are in control. As law enforcement agencies, we will ensure your safety throughout this period,” Mosikili stated.

Acknowledging the challenges of ensuring a safe election period, Mosikili expressed confidence based on past experiences. “The task at hand is immense, but through our previous efforts to secure elections, we are ready for this next phase. Achieving a safe, secure, and peaceful election requires commitment from all stakeholders, including our communities,” she said.

She praised the responsible conduct displayed by communities and citizens so far. “We are grateful that South Africans from all walks of life have continued to act responsibly.”

Mosikili also reminded political parties that campaigning must end by midnight on May 28, 2024. Any campaigning beyond this point would violate the Electoral Act.

Mosikili warned against the spread of misinformation and fake news, particularly on social media. “Verify facts before sharing any information to avoid unnecessary confusion and panic. We will not tolerate any incitement of violence on any platform. Our intelligence and cybercrime units are closely monitoring online activities. Do not step out of line,” she cautioned.

She also reminded police officials of their duty to protect the elections within the bounds of the law. “There will be more boots on the ground. Our law enforcement agencies are deployed to ensure that everyone exercising their democratic right can do so in a peaceful, safe, and secure environment. We remind our officers to adhere to fundamental policing principles guided by the Constitution and our laws,” she concluded.

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